Yana Mintoff Bland recalls near-death experience in knife attack
Yana Mintoff Bland told a court yesterday how an argument spiralled into an alleged knife attack by her former partner Ghoerghe Popa.
She testified in the compilation of evidence against Mr Popa, 38, who stands charged, among other things, with holding her against her will, slightly injuring her and her son. He is pleading not guilty.
The incident took place in the evening of 24 October at Ms Mintoff Bland’s residence in Tarxien.
The first to testify yesterday was Police Inspector Spiridione Zammit, who said that he spoke to Yana Mintoff Bland and her son Daniel Mainwaring, 32, at the Paola health centre. She was suffering slash wounds on her left wrist and on the left side of her chest.
The police were told that the argument broke out on the ground floor of the residence after Mr Popa suspected that Ms Mintoff Bland was having an affair with another man.
Daniel Mainwaring, Ms Mintoff Bland’s son, also suffered wounds on his left leg after intervening.
Inspector Zammit then said that he found a fire on his return to Ms Mintoff Bland’s home
The police discovered Mr Popa after following drops of blood near a tree. The man was found with four knife wounds to the stomach; the wounds were all deemed to be self-inflicted by court appointed forensic experts.
Mr Popa was rushed in a critical condition to Mater Dei Hospital. Upon his release on 10 November he was interrogated by police, and it was ascertained that Mr Popa did in fact handle the knife while he also recalled inflicting one of the wounds.
Next to give evidence was Ms Mintoff Bland who said that she had been in a relationship with Mr Popa after becoming acquainted at a dance class two years before.
Ms Mintoff Bland then told the court that in the months that preceded the incident, MrPopa began to act in a very irrational and suspicious manner.
Their relationship had ended twice before the incident due to Mr Popa’s constant jealousy and threats to take his own life.
Ms Mintoff Bland thanked her son for helping her on the day of the attack which occurred after she returned home from a dinner with Mr Mainwaring, a court heard.
As she attempted to collect Mr Popa’s belongings in order for him to vacate the premises, he attacked her and attempted to stab her.
Defence lawyer Benjamin Valenzia requested bail, but this was denied.